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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 25, 2013/ 17 Tamuz, 5773

Obama in Berlin

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There are times when all a president of the United States must want to do is to get away from it all. Far away. An ocean away. Not just for a weekend at Camp David or a fundraiser in San Francisco. But off to some place where it really doesn't matter what he's talking about so long as it isn't anything relevant, at least not to his troubles or the country's. Yes, some place where people aren't concerned with American domestic politics and its presidential scandals. And if there isn't such a place any more in this internetted and globalized 24/7 blogosphere, it needs to be a place where POTUS can at least pretend nobody knows or cares about the trouble he's in at home.

It needs to be a place where he can tell himself all those cheering throngs in the great square or packed hall have turned out because he's a World Leader, a speaker of vision and eloquence who deserves the flowery introduction he's just received -- even if his press office had to write it.

Even a president of the United States, especially a president of the United States, needs a trip to some fantasy island of his choice when things at home get hard to take, and what he really wants to do is change the subject. Maybe someplace he associates with better times, when his administration was just a-borning and everything was bright and promising and bustin' out all over with prospects of Hope and Change -- someplace like Berlin, where they loved him at the start of his presidency. Heck, they loved him in Washington back then.

Yes, a little visit to Berlin would be perfect just now, travel-poster perfect. It would offset that bust of a G8 summit somewhere unpronounceable in Northern Ireland that our president had to attend the other day. Which produced all those dreary communiqués that communicated so little. Yes, he needed to go to Berlin, absolutely, and Jawohl! It must have been great fun being liked again.

Who could blame our president for taking a little side trip to see the Brandenburg Gate again and take a break from sordid reality? Except maybe the kind of spoilsports who wish he would tackle his problems at home head-on -- instead of pretending they don't exist, and that he really had nothing to with them, being only president of the United States. And, as such, only an innocent bystander. And not responsible for every misadventure his administration, silly thing, has gotten itself into. After all, he only heads it.

A president's most pressing need at such a time is to talk about something else, anything else, other than his administration's scandals. Like the weather, maybe.

This is scarcely the first time it has dawned on the country's chief executive that now would be the perfect time to get out of Dodge.

It was back in 1974, the year when Watergate finally boiled over, having gone from minor irritant to a full-blown crisis, that Richard Nixon decided to see the pyramids at last. So off he went to Cairo and points east to talk about ... well, I can't remember just what he talked about except that it had nothing to do with what he'd once dismissed as an overblown, second-rate burglary at some office complex in Washington called Watergate.

Think back to June of 1974. That would have been after President Nixon had declined to release those famous or rather infamous Watergate Tapes except in edited form, and even that turned out to be a bombshell. For even those limited, selected, and sanitized notes on his White House conversations with intimates revealed something of what Richard M. Nixon, aka Tricky Dick, was thinking in private -- never a pretty picture. Let's just say that those selected excerpts, strewn with expletive-deleted phrases and covered with a general coating of vulgarity, were less than elevating.

Worse, only top the first layer of varnish over this carefully posed portrait of Dorian Gray had been removed, and already it repulsed. Especially when everyone knew by then that more was to come, as layer after layer of this cover-up would be peeled back. All wanted to see what was underneath, and at the same time didn't want to see it. For back then there was still an aura of awe, even reverence, about the presidency of the United States, an aura it would never regain after that Watergate summer. The House Judiciary Committee had already begun impeachment hearings in May of that year and now....

Yes, now was the perfect time for that president to leave the country. Just what he said in Cairo is hard to remember now, but Americans still haven't forgotten Watergate. It was a watershed not just for Richard Nixon but for the American presidency.

Fast forward to June of 2013. This time an American president goes to Berlin, but it's scarcely John F. Kennedy speaking in June of 1963 ("Ich bin ein Berliner!") or Ronald Reagan in June of 1987. ("Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!")

Instead it's Barack Obama talking about, sure enough, the weather. Specifically, about Climate Change, the reigning secular theology of the age, complete with its own vision of the Apocalypse: famines, floods, vanishing coastlines, refugees from natural disasters ... the whole "Soylent Green" scenario. ("This is the future we must avert. This is the global threat of our time!")

At a time when the whole Middle East is threatened by a real calamity, by widening war and chaos, and a real refugee crisis is already upon us there, our president chose to spoke about, yes, the weather. Which must have been a nice change from not speaking of the succession of scandals on his watch back home.

No matter. All those congressional committees will be talking about those scandals all summer long -- the IRS' own enemies list, the administration's going after the press for doing its job, the bloody debacle that was Benghazi, and who knows what more to come. There'll be time enough to discuss all that. It's going to be a long, hot summer.

This stopover in Berlin has been just an intermission in the continuing drama he's trying to escape from back home. Working title: "Obama Agonistes."

Welcome home, Mr. President. You've been missed.

Paul Greenberg Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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